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Returned Home, But Still Want Asylum

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What if I went back to my home country and I want asylum? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, San Diego, California, and Washington, DC, our nation's Capitol, right around the corner from the Capitol. And you know, if we'd been in DC when those nuts on January 6th had done their craziness, we would have put a stop to that real quick, much better than old Trump did.

But anyway, we're not talking about Washington, DC today. Today, we're talking about asylum and we're talking about people who enter the United States, go back to their home country. So let's just pick a country. Let's say Azerbaijan, because I like saying Azerbaijan. It's a fun word to say. Whether I can spell it or not as another question, but let's say we have Abbott from Azerbaijan and Abbott has come to the United States on a visit visa and then flew back to Azerbaijan and then comes back to the United States and wants to apply for asylum.

Now, we're not talking about situations where people get asylum and want to go back to their home country after they applied for asylum. We've covered that in other videos. In this video, we're talking about people who've made multiple entries into the United States and gone back to their home country, which they're now planning on claiming would subject them to persecution. In other words, Abbott has gone back home to Azerbaijan and come back to the United States. So he has multiple entries into the United States. The question will become, Abbott, if you are so scared to go back to the Azerbaijan right now, why did you not apply for asylum on your first visit to the United States? And you wouldn't believe some of the crazy explanations that people give me. Sometimes they say, "Well, I had to take care of some business back in my home country."

That's one of their favorite things to say, or I was finishing school, or I was finishing a job or something like that. People you got to wake up. When you're applying for asylum, you're telling the federal government that if you get sent back to your home country, that you will be persecuted and you will be persecuted because of some trait about yourself that you can't or shouldn't have to change. And when we say persecution, that means you're going to be tortured or killed or jailed or all those things. Right? And so, this idea that you can just act like you're a regular person, like from France or Spain, where there's not active persecution going on every single day, you think that you can just go back and forth to Azerbaijan, they're going to nail you for that. Right? And so, you have to file for asylum within a year of your last arrival.

But if you have all these prior entries into the United States, they're really going to scratch their heads and say, hey, why didn't you apply for asylum that first time you entered the United States, or why didn't you apply for asylum that second time you enter the United States? And of course, with every multiple entry into the United States, you make that argument harder and harder. Now of course, one reason that you could give, if it's true, is that conditions changed between when you entered the first time and when you entered the second time. In other words, you went back to Azerbaijan in the past because you thought it was safe, but now either conditions have changed back in Azerbaijan or because conditions about your case have changed. So in other words, maybe on that first trip back, you received some threats. Or maybe since the time that you left, your father got arrested or something like that.

So you have to have a reason because if you don't, they might deny your asylum case saying that you had this fear. Maybe you had this fear and maybe the fear is credible, but we just don't understand why you didn't apply for asylum on your first entry. So you really need to think this through. And it's interesting. You might be surprised by this, but I've actually talked to a fair number of people who come to see me while they're planning that second trip back home, that trip back home, where that's going to be the trip that really screws them up if they do apply for asylum. And so in those situations, I'm actively trying to convince them to stay in the United States and apply for asylum on this trip. Some people will take me up on that. Some people don't.

So long and the short of it is if you can avoid going back to your home country before you apply for asylum, I highly suggest that. And of course, this can be complicated and it is sort of factor intensive. So if you have questions, give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us, [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you liked this video, we asked you to please subscribe to our YouTube channel and you'll get updated every single day when we publish a new video. Don't forget Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually noon central. I'm answering as many of your immigration law related questions as possible. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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